Weekend Roundup: Politics, Autism, and Mac OS X 10.6 Training and Certifications

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Today I thought I would throw up a quick roundup of the week that has been keeping me really busy. 

Politics
First, a quick word on politics.  Not really a position, but I want to mention that I finally got a response from my Congressman, Representative Jason Chaffetz.  But not an email, or even a letter, I was called.  That's right, he had an aide call me.  The call basically said they read on my blog that I hadn't gotten a response, and so they wanted to be sure I got one.  They left a message because I was teaching at the time, but still, it's cool.  How many congress members contact their constituents by phone?  I was impressed. 

Autism
Lately there have been a lot of articles on the news again about the MMR vaccine and Autism.  It seems that the National Autistic Society of Britain as finally admitted that the MMR vaccine is not the cause of autism.  This is because of a survey that was conducted amongst adults and children.  It seems that the rates of autism amongst adults and those of children are the same (in Great Britain).  Why is this significant?  Because if autism were caused by the MMR shot, the autism rate would be much higher in children.  The MMR shot has only been in existence since the 1990's. 

Yes, yet another great pillar in the false rumors and fear spread about vaccinations has gone down.  Now, let's focus on the education of those with Autism.  Science has triumphed again, though those who are "convinced" of a "world-wide government conspiracy" to support the MMR shot will probably still claim the same old arguments that have no basis in fact.  Wouldn't it be nice if we just all focused on the problem at hand?  Autistic children need education, and they need it now.

In other news, the question of Autism as a real disorder seems to be spreading.  While looking for specific details on an autism related website, I found this post by someone questioning the existence of Autism, as though it's an excuse for parents to let their children run wild.  I've heard this argument a lot, always from people who have never interacted with an autistic child.  My response was long, not quite as long as their response, and a lot easier to follow because I believe in paragraphs, but it was pretty comprehensive.  Perhaps, one day, I won't have to defend the diagnosis of doctors...  some day, perhaps.  *sigh*

Mac OS X 10.6
With the release of Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.6 Server, Apple Training is preparing to launch their 10.6 training materials.  To date, only the 10.6 Support Essentials and 10.6 Server Essentials tests are available.  Hopefully the exams for Deployment and Directory Services will be made available in October, and I can get those classes ready for Spring semester.  The final class, Mac OS X 10.6 Security and Mobility, which is new, I'm hoping will be made available during the Spring, along with the T3 that I will need to attend.  The T3, I'm hoping, will be less expensive than those in the past, and will allow me to offer the class as the Capstone course in the Summer. 

10.6 Support Essentials training materials will not be made available until late October, and 10.6 Server Essentials training materials not until late November.  So what does that mean for my classes now? 

Well, luckily, not much has changed in Support Essentials, so preparing my students for the Support Essentials 10.6 test will not be that difficult.  Server Essentials is different on a lot of levels, like the setup and a couple of other methods, so that one will be different, though I can still cover a lot of the same material in the 10.5 class to prepare the students for the 10.6 test. 

To date, the podcasts and Trainer exams for those ACT's certified for 10.5 classes are yet to be made available, so I don't have a timeline for the 10.6 classes.  I'm hoping the next Server bootcamp we have coming up in December will be 10.6.  Well, hopefully I'll find out something by next week.